Colin (2008)

Author: Brett H.
Submitted by: Brett H.   Date : 2010-11-10 17:49

Written & Directed by: Marc Price
Starring: Alastair Kirton, Daisy Aitkens, Kerry Owen & Leigh Crocombe

Reviewed by: Brett H.

What can $75 buy you these days? If you're Marc Price, that little bit of dough (with a lot of help from friends and well-doers) can buy you a film. Like many, Colin intrigued me from the get-go as it gained exposure at Cannes through a variety of the biggest media outlets on the planet. Then I didn't hear about it for a while, until Walking Shadows announced plans to release the micro-budgeted zombpocalypse on DVD. Having enjoyed the hell out of The Blair Witch Project as a young teenager, I've always had a soft spot for these unlikely mainstream or cult classic candidates. So, let's get to know Colin, now, shall we?

Normally, I would cover the plot for a film right about now, but I don't think I could fill a paragraph explaining this one. Colin is less about plot and more about feeling. You've got your basic zombie apocalypse, chompings, far-away gunfire and jolting violence, but what distances this film apart from the common zombie horde is our protagonist gets bitten in the early moments of the film. Inspired by Bub in Day of the Dead, we see Colin (Alastair Kirton) emerge as a character in his undead state. It's a refreshing idea, one I can't believe hadn't been further explored before now. I mean, really, which is more interesting to you; typical underdeveloped horror characters or the monsters themselves? If I had to make an indie movie where low budget was of the essence, I'd do it just the way it was done in Colin.

That's not to say the movie is perfect, but it is a charming character study of the undead; a film that really tugs your emotions in a hundred different ways. The film's transfer obviously is nothing to show off your home theatre with, yet is shot with such simple grace that it leads the viewer to a very realistic experience. For brief moments at a time, you feel as though you're watching actual footage of a zombie outbreak. While the makeup is sometimes cheap and cakey, the lighting and the better than super 8 look gives off that great documentary vibe that covers up imperfections well. The music - or lack thereof - is perhaps its strongest point. Where tension or violence is of the essence, there is no score, and when Colin is involved in an emotional scene, we get a sweet, soft melody.

As we find out while staggering down the streets with the Colin, being a zombie isn't just about making the world your free buffet. Humans are a more cognitive, faster, constant threat to your existence (especially if you're rockin' sweet kicks). Many times Colin survives by the skin of his teeth (or his face... in the film's best display of a legitimately gruesome, quality effect, although there is fun arterial spray involving a razor blade as well). It is with much intrigue that we simply watch Colin roam and react, observing how quickly his own fight for survival against the human race must ensue in the blink of an eye. He even gets some help along the way from his human sister, Linda (Daisy Aitkens), who is sure she can snap Colin out of his tragic, zombie funk. This adds a whole new dimension to the film and is where it really grabs hold.

Walking Shadows' issued a pair of releases for Colin, with the packed two disc edition being the one to get if you're got a few bucks to spare. The main supplement is the hilarious commentary that only serves to make the film better, as well as a making of documentary, deleted scenes, trailer and a short film. The video quality is not very good as expected, but the audio track isn't half bad. Not a whole lot happens in Colin, not on the outside at least. Inside, it's refreshing, sympathetic, funny and invigorating. It's everything an indie zombie movie should be. Seeing as I already feel like watching it again, in spite of small to medium flaws, this one digs deep... like a razor blade sprung from a slingshot. There's only one thing a horror fan can do if they want to get in the mind of a fresh zombie; Buy it!

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